Prepare a perfect biometric photo with guaranteed acceptance!
Looking for a guide to the requirements your Railcard photograph needs to meet? Then, look no further!
With the wide range of Railcards available, you are guaranteed to find one that suits you! All you need to do is submit an online application, attaching a passport-style photo. However, the rail services will reject photos that don’t meet their specifications, requiring you to repeat the application process. To avoid wasting time and money, make sure you read our guide and FAQs, which demystify the Railcard photo rules, allowing you to make more suitable images first time.
The easiest way to order your new Railcard, or to renew one that has expired, is to buy online. You will need the following documents:
You will receive guidance online on how to upload a suitable image for your Railcard.
Your Railcard photograph must meet certain requirements regarding size, composition, colours and background. You can have it taken in a professional photo studio, but we offer a way that takes less time and is cheaper: Passport Photo Online’s Railcard photo tool. All you need to do is to take a suitable image, with our guidance, and we will adjust the background, crop and resize the photograph and, finally, ensure it meets all the specifications.
Whether you need a 26-30 Railcard photo, 16-25 Railcard photo or a photo for any other form of Railcard, the requirements are the same in terms of size and other key details.
If you intend to buy online, you must provide a digital picture, meeting the following Railcard photo resolution and size requirements:
If you apply at a staffed station ticket office, you need to bring a 45 x 35mm biometric Railcard photograph with you, similar to those required for a passport or driving licence.
A suitable image, digital or paper, must:
Whilst the rail services prefer colour pictures, they will accept black and white images.
The image of your head - measured from your chin to your crown - must be sized between 29 mm and 34 mm in height. You must be facing forwards, looking straight at the camera lens. Your head must not be tilted.
Dark coloured backgrounds are not acceptable. It must be a neutral colour: such as white, cream or light grey. If you are unable to find a suitable background for your picture, don’t panic. Simply use our online photo editor, which can remove the wrong background and change it into a more suitable one.
Remember that the light on your face must be even, with no shadows, either on your face or behind your head. Ideally, you should use natural light.
Keep a neutral expression, with a closed mouth, and ensure your eyes are open. Look straight at the camera. The rail services will allow makeup, but will not accept images that have been doctored through Photoshop or similar.
You are not allowed to wear tinted glasses, e.g. sunglasses while taking your Railcard photo. You are allowed to wear prescription glasses if you need to, but your eyes must be visible. The authorities will automatically reject photos with glare or reflections. If you wear glasses, the frames cannot be too large, in case they cover or obscure your eyes.
You can keep your normal hairstyle, as long as your hair doesn’t cover your face, particularly your eyes. Do not wear any form of head covering, unless it is for religious or medical reasons.
If you plan to print your own Railcard photograph, you must ensure it is printed to a high standard, on plain, white, borderless photo paper. It shouldn’t be retouched by software such as Photoshop, but you can adjust it with a railcard photo tool.
Last update: 23/09/2022
For your Railcard application, whether you choose an online or a paper one, you will need to take a passport-style photo of yourself. No other people or objects must be visible in it and it cannot be cropped from a larger picture.
You can upload your prepared photo file onto the official Railcard site. Remember that it must meet the specific requirements for passport-style photos. If you want to guarantee that your photo will meet the regulations, simply use our Railcard photo app, which can remove any unsuitable backgrounds, and will also resize your photo.
If you order a digital Railcard, you'll be sent a special code, which you can enter into the Railcard app to upload a digital card onto your phone.
A Physical Railcard is a plastic card, which is sent to you free of charge. In order to benefit from discounts, you’ll need to carry your card with you.
You are only allowed to wear your prescription glasses on the condition that they do not create glare or reflection as your eyes must be visible in the picture. Sunglasses or other tinted glasses are not allowed in the photo.
No. No photo will be required for a Senior Railcard.
No. You will not need to provide a photo to apply for a Family and Friends Railcard.
The photo for a Two Together Railcard needs to be a recognizable likeness of you. It must also be in sharp focus, not overexposed or underexposed. Black and white images will be acceptable, although they tend to prefer colour pictures. Your head and shoulders must be in the centre of the frame, with your face clearly visible and filling approximately 70% of the space in the image. Your face cannot be obscured by your hair and you cannot wear headwear that isn’t religious or medical in nature.
It depends on which delivery option you used. If you bought your Railcard online, it will be sent free by UK Mail. It will take around 5 working days for your Railcard to be delivered. If you have chosen to pay an extra fee for the Special Delivery option, your Railcard can be delivered in as little as 2 days (Monday to Thursday) or 3 days (Friday to Sunday).
You can change Railcard photos, especially if your appearance has altered significantly. The photo requirements are the same and incorrectly taken pictures will be rejected. If you want to update your Railcard photo, take a new one and check it quickly through our online photo service.
Unfortunately, you need a valid Railcard to be able to benefit. However, they will add an extra week of validity to account for delivery time.
Yes, you will need to provide a suitable image for your disabled railcard when you apply.
Your expression needs to remain neutral in your photo. Your photo may be rejected if you smile.
When providing a digital Railcard photograph, it needs to be 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall. Your image files need to be at least 50KB and no more than 10MB in size. Physical images need to be 4.5cm x 3.5cm in size.